Source:UCD-CSI-2008-08, University College Dublin, Dublin (2008)
Keywords:citation analysis; google scholar; impact factor; GS IF; ISI; computer science
While it is universally held by computer scientists that conference publications have a higher status in computer science than in other disciplines there is little quantitative evidence in support of this position. The importance of journal publications in academic promotion makes this a big issue since a focus on journal papers only will miss many significant papers published at conferences in computer science. In this paper we set out to quantify the relative importance of journal and conference papers in computer science. We show that computer science papers in leading conferences match the impact of papers in mid-ranking journals and surpass the impact of papers in journals in the bottom half of the ISI rankings - when impact is measured by citations in Google Scholar. We also show that there is a poor correlation between this measure of impact and conference acceptance rates. This indicates that conference publication is an inefficient market where venues that are equally challenging in terms of rejection rates offer quite different returns in terms of citations.